New blocks record, 10-straight wins within reach

New blocks record, 10-straight wins within reach

The volleyball team extended its winning streak to four matches after defeating conference rival Lipscomb for the second time this year.

Led by Rachel Taylor and Sydni Shelton, the Owls set a new school record with 19 blocks in a single match.

It was a hard-fought win for the Owls, upsetting Lipscomb on its own alumni night, sweeping the Bison in the regular season for the first time in school history.

“In a rollercoaster match for both teams, I’m very proud of our mental fortitude tonight,” said head coach Keith Schunzel. “Neither team could find great rhythm offensively for long stretches of time, but kudos to our seniors and leadership for staying steady and enduring through some ups and downs.”

Over the next three weeks, KSU will play against the same six conference opponents from earlier in the season. The Owls have defeated all of them except Jacksonville, who handed the Owls their only loss in over a month.

Next, KSU travels to New Jersey to face off against NJIT on Friday and will then quickly travel to South Carolina to face USC Upstate on Sunday. KSU swept both teams the last time they played.

The following weekend, the Owls will come back home as they take on North Florida and Jacksonville in the Convocation Center.

The Owls dropped the first two sets and were unable to comeback against Jacksonville earlier this month. Schunzel felt Jacksonville’s home crowd played a role in the outcome.

“This is life on the road in a good league,” Schunzel said after the loss. “If you don’t show up 100 percent mentally and physically, you’ll get beat.”

The match will be different this time, as the Owls are undefeated, and have only dropped three sets, at home all season. Meanwhile, Jacksonville is 4-4 on the road.

The Owls have also been stellar on offense all season, boasting an impressive .246 hitting percentage. Jacksonville is hitting .198 on the year, with more than 25 percent of their kills coming from sophomore Mallory Mattingly.

If the Owls can key on Jacksonville’s primary hitters, they’ll be able to shut down their offensive attack. The Owls should be able to breeze through the rest of their schedule and finish the season on a hot streak should they beat Jacksonville.

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